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Free money for back to school? You might qualify for KEEP

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - You could have free money coming to help with your kids’ back to school expenses.

The state is reminding families to apply for KEEP. The Kansas Education Enrichment Program gives qualifying parents and guardians up to $1,000 per student ages five to 18.

The Kansas Office of Recovery partners with Merit for the program. Taimairie Adams is Merit’s lead for KEEP, and she visited with Eye on NE Kansas about it.


Adams said families can spend the money on things like school supplies, technology, even classes or tutoring services.

She explained that, once approved, the money is given in a digital wallet to be used in an online marketplace. That means many physical products are essentially purchased online, but many of the service vendors are locally-based, and families would access those services locally.

Adams said the response to the program has been positive, especially as families struggle with rising prices.

“Really at its core this program is about equity and making sure that all students have access to these educational resources regardless of their income,” she said. “A lot of the education solutions and programs that are being provided in the marketplace are research based, so there’s tutoring, they’re bridging those gaps.”

Adams said the income eligibility guidelines for the program are generous, with families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level qualifying. That’s approximately $90,000 for a family of four.

There is no deadline to apply. However, it is first-come, first-served, since the program is using one-time funding through the Recovery Act.

Apply and learn more at https://www.keep.ks.gov/.

Story originally aired on WIBW here. 

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